Participatory Economics

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Medium/DimensionsParticipatory Project
CreditsECONOMY commission

Since 1992 the Austrian collective WochenKlausur have created pioneering grassroots art projects across the globe. Their itinerant practice addresses specific challenges facing communities. Through a series of small-scale concrete actions, they seek to facilitate resolutions. Past projects have included setting up a shelter for drug-addicted sex-workers in Zurich and improving conditions in a deportation detention centre in Salzberg. In WochenKlausur’s own words: ‘artistic creativity is no longer seen as a formal act but as an intervention into society.’

During February 2013 four members of the collective will undertake a residency in Glasgow. Working in close collaboration with residents and organisations in the Drumchapel area of the city, they will help to set up an association to encourage and support the foundation of a worker self-managed cooperative. Participatory Economics attempts to test models for alternative futures, yet the cooperative movement has a long and rich history in Scotland, stretching back to the 18th century. What potential does this model offer today? And, what role can art play in effecting sustainable change – no matter how modest – within the social fabric?

When art assumes the form of direct engagement with socio-economic relations, its aesthetic and cognitive roles become inevitably complex and hard to represent in a traditional exhibition format. Usually, documentary materials are the only means by which events and experiences can be communicated to broader audiences. In this case, visitors to the exhibition can learn more about Participatory Economics by visiting WochenKlausur’s project office which will be housed in CCA’s Creative Lab on the first floor throughout February 2013. It is open to the public between 2pm and 6pm, Thursday to Saturday.

Special thanks to Drumchapel L.I.F.E. Supported by a Creative Futures award and The Austrian Cultural Forum.


For more information on WochenKlausur’s previous projects click here.